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Spurs v Hull City (Capital One Cup Rd 4), 30.10.13

(a.e.t. – 1-1 after 90 minutes)
Spurs won 8-7 on penalties

Spurs scorers:-
Sigurdsson, 16
Kane, 108

Hull scorers:-
Friedel (o.g.), 53
McShane, 99

Attendance:- 35,617

Referee:- Mr. J. Moss
Assistants:- Mr. S. Bennett & Mr. J. Brooks
Fourth official:- Mr. M. Russell

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Friedel; Walker, Kaboul (Capt.), Vertonghen, Naughton (sub Chiriches, 68); Dembele, Paulinho; Lamela, Eriksen (sub Chadli, 68) (sub Kane, 78), Sigurdsson; Defoe

Subs not used:- Lloris; Capoue, Holtby, Bentaleb (number 42)

Booked:- Defoe (simulation outside box)

Hull (5-4-1/4-4-2):- Jakupovic; Elmohamady, Davies, Bruce (sub Proschwitz, 34), McShane, Rosenior; Koren (Capt.) (sub Gedo, 81), Meyler, Quinn, Boyd; Graham (sub McLean, 46)

Subs not used:- Harper; Figueroa; Faye; Sagbo

No bookings

High drama at The Lane and Spurs win a shoot out!

What more could you want? This was an entertaining cup tie, with goals at each end, finished with high drama in a penalty shoot-out which Spurs actually won! I do believe this was Spurs first successful shoot-out in 19 years since we needed spot kicks to finally put paid to Peterborough in an FA Cup replay 19 years ago. Spurs fans responded to AVB’s stinging criticism on Sunday, or were they actually fired up by a more eventful game and some skilful football by Spurs?

Well, it wasn’t all good, as after taking an early lead with a great goal, Spurs succumbed to Hull’s switch of style; a Friedel own goal to let them back in the game; and a nervy extra time in which they fell behind to McShane’s header, before substitute Harry Kane scored a well-placed equaliser. It was only Harry Kane’s second goal for Spurs, and his first in domestic football, and well deserved after he had to replace the injured Nacer Chadli, who lasted just 10 minutes after he had replaced Christian Eriksen.

There was a good crowd at White Hart Lane, packed with plenty of young attendees, probably getting the chance to see their heroes for the first time, as many regulars chose not to make the effort for this game. Younes made a welcome return, and Erik Lamela took another step towards his acclimatisation in English football. Whilst Lamela was one of several Spurs players who fell over at crucial times (are they all wearing blades?), I thought he showed plenty of skill and promise, if he was not always successful.

Gylfi Sigurdsson returned to the left side of the front three behind Defoe, and scored a cracking goal. I do think that what Spurs lacked for much of the game was genuine width as both Sigurdsson and Lamela played a narrow game, at the behest of Andre Villas-Boas, leaving it to the full backs to offer most of the wing play, when it was seen.

Steve Bruce made several changes to his team, but still started with his 5-4-1 formation. There was a variation to the theme though with both full backs Elmohamady and Rosenior moving forward whenever their team moved towards the Spurs goal. When his son Alex was injured and had to be replaced by Proschwitz, Hull switched to a 4-4-2, taking the game to Spurs, and playing plenty of adventurous football. Spurs had a game on, and still struggled to penetrate as the blue-shirted Hull players hunted in packs when Spurs were in possession.

Both Sigurdsson and Eriksen were integral to an early Spurs move, which ended with a Defoe effort going wide across the goal-mouth. This time, Spurs were playing towards the Park Lane End. Plenty of Hull fans had made the trip. (In fact, I ran into some of their coaches at Leicester Forest East on my way home). Striker Danny Graham seems to have mixed fortunes since choosing to make the move from Swansea to Sunderland. He is on loan now at Hull, and had a chance after 4 minutes, which he mis-cued wide. He was also offside.

Defoe had a chance deflected for a corner after 8 minutes. From the corner, Younes Kaboul rose at the back post and headed just wide. Paulinho received a pass from Eriksen and took a shot which passed wide. Spurs took the lead with a simply cracking goal by Sigurdsson, who has now scored 4 times for Spurs this season. He received a good ball down the left channel from Naughton, before unleashing a superb shot, which was a goal all the way beating Jakupovic high to his right.

Sigurdsson tried to turn provider for Defoe a little later, but Defoe could not quite get control of the ball. At this stage, Spurs were putting some good pressure upon Hull, without showing anything for it. I felt that Lamela was having his best spell at this time too.

After Hull’s enforced substitution, they attacked more and were nearly rewarded when Friedel dived to stop Elmohamady’s shot, and Younes Kaboul completed the defence, by clearing from the feet of Graham. Kyle Walker was fortunate not even to get booked just before the break, when referee Jon Moss chose to “have words” over his challenge which many officials would have formally punished. Mr. Moss was in charge of our last League Cup game, when he let Vertonghen’s “pants-down” trick go un-punished. Can we have him for the next game too, please?

Hull replaced Graham with Aaron McLean at half-time, and he was nearly rewarded immediately with a chance that passed wide of Friedel’s left post. Paulinho and Lamela featured in a nice move by Spurs after 51 minutes. Lamela stumbled and Kyle Walker took on the ball. His cross was met by Sigurdsson, who fed Defoe, whose chance went wide.

Hull equalised in the 53rd minute, playing towards their own fans. Elmohamady hit a cross/shot from the right, which passed across Friedel’s goalmouth. Curtis Davies hit the ball back across the goal, taking the keeper by surprise. Friedel was facing his own goal, stumbled and fumbled the ball into his own net. It began to look as if giving Lloris a night off would be costly, but Friedel would ultimately redeem himself.

Eriksen had a shot which won a corner, and then at the other end, Kyle Walker came to the rescue with a great out-stretched foot to deprive George Boyd of the ball. Lamela, Eriksen and Defoe all combined on the edge of the Hull area, before Defoe’s effort went high and wide. Chadli replaced Eriksen, whilst Naughton had to be replaced through injury. Chiriches took up the centre-back slot, with Vertonghen moving to left back. Chadli did have an attempt go wide after a Vertonghen cross, and then Defoe got the only yellow card of the night for what the referee deemed to be a dive outside the box. Chadli then had to withdraw, and Harry Kane played alongside Defoe. It was now 4-4-2 all the way!

Lamela hit a good free kick, which Jakupovic saved with a dive to his left. Spurs won a throw and Harry Kane hit a good shot which was deflected for a corner. With 6 minutes of normal time remaining, Spurs had to clear the ball in front of goal, after a free kick from the right. Harry Kane might have won the game in added time, with a great right footed shot, which hit the bar, with the goalkeeper beaten.

We went into extra time, which started with a good Vertonghen ball forward to Defoe, in a good position and a bit of space, because he was offside! Sigurdsson hit a shot wide, after a protracted, patient build-up by Spurs, who were then taken aback by Hull scoring a second goal. McLean had managed to win a corner by hitting the ball directly at Vertonghen. Boyd took the corner, and McShane headed the ball high into the net. I swear Lloris would have saved this effort.

Now Spurs did play in a more gung-ho style, which roused the crowd quite naturally. Kaboul headed over Sigurdsson’s corner, before Hull substitute Gedo had a right foot shot wide across the Spurs goal. Harry Kane put us back on level terms with a finely placed shot just inside Jakupovic’s left post, after Defoe had fed him the ball. Defoe also had a shot just wide of the corner stanchion. Kaboul came forward on the charge and tried to tee up Defoe, who just could not find a shot. Sigurdsson and Defoe both had shots wide or deflected as the end of extra time was signalled.

These days, penalties seem to be taken at the opposite end to away fans for health and safety reason, and tonight was no exception as the penalties took place at The Paxton End. Spurs went first, and were never behind in the protracted shoot-out, ultimately winning 8-7, with Friedel making two saves, firstly from McLean’s first penalty for Hull, and Elmohamady’s final attempt. Erik Lamela was the only spurs player to fail, with a shot too close to the keeper.

Spurs drew West Ham at home in the quarter-final which will be played in the week before Christmas. Revenge(hopefully) will be sweet.

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